3OYS: Beware of convincing phone scam

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

GLENDALE, Ariz.-- A Glendale man answered his phone, and within minutes, he was scammed out of $1,500.  Apparently phone scams like this happen more often than we think.

Abish and his fiancee Brittanie say they work hard to provide for their family. So, when he got a strange phone call from someone demanding money, Abish says he was confused.

"I felt very threatened and put into a corner where I couldn't, I didn't have very many options to fight,” Abish says.

The caller told him he had taken out a loan online back in 2007 and if he didn't hand over $1,499 within the hour, he could be charged with fraud and put in jail.

"It was kind of like someone saying, you know, putting a gun to your head and saying you've got ten minutes to give me 1,500 dollars," he says.

The caller was convincing, revealing Abish's work history, past addresses and other personal information.

The call Abish received is a common way scammers get you. They make you believe you or someone else using your name is responsible for payments and threaten you if you don't pay up.

"I was extremely scared,” Abish says.

Abish paid the amount over the phone with his debit card, but as soon as he did, he realized it was a scam and called Wells Fargo right away to make sure the money never left his account.

Abish says Wells Fargo told him not to worry, that they would block the transaction. "She said you should be totally ok; we don't see this charge here," he says.

However, a few days later even though his debit card was supposed to be canceled, there was bad news. All $1,500 left his account. "My heart fell into my stomach," he says.

Wells Fargo told Abish that because he willingly gave his information over the phone, it wasn't fraud and there was nothing they could do about it.

But, after reaching out to Wells Fargo, 3 On Your Side is happy to report that Wells Fargo investigated the charge further and the bank returned all that money back to Abish and his family.

But with the issue resolved, Wells Fargo and Abish still want to warn people about this convincing scam.

Abish says he recommends that people do not give their information over the phone and to do all the research they can.